Mike Kudla, former star Ohio State defensive end, dies at 34
By MITCH STACY
AP Sports Writer
Tuesday, July 17
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Mike Kudla, a star defensive end who played on Ohio State’s 2002 national championship team, has died. He was 34.
The northeastern Ohio school district where he played in high school posted on Twitter on Monday that he died Sunday. The cause was not disclosed.
Kudla was named first-team All-Big Ten and Ohio State’s most valuable player on defense in 2005. In his final college game, he set a Fiesta Bowl record with three sacks to help the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame. He finished his college career with 91 tackles and 14.5 sacks.
“Mike Kudla was a special young man,” former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said in a statement. “His love of family, OSU and country was so strong. Our heart aches for the Kudla family, his friends, teammates, and entire Buckeye Nation.”
Kudla was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent but was released in 2006 after sustaining a hamstring injury that ultimately ended his pro career.
He came back to Ohio State in 2012 to be managing director of development for the university’s business school. Most recently he operated a company that develops medical facilities.
Highland Local Schools in Medina, south of Cleveland, said Kudla had been working with the NFL on protocols for CTE, the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Former teammate Dustin Fox, in a tweet, called Kudla “one of baddest dudes I’ve ever played with, but also one of the most kind and genuine guys you could ever meet.”
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Lawsuit, ex-student focus on complaints about Ohio State doc
By KANTELE FRANKO and JOHN SEEWER
Wednesday, July 18
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Four former wrestlers say in a new lawsuit that Ohio State University officials ignored repeated complaints about “rampant sexual misconduct” by a now-dead team doctor, and a former student confirmed Tuesday that investigators have documentation about at least one decades-old incident that prompted a complaint.
Former student Steve Snyder-Hill said he wrote to a student health center official in the 1990s after being examined by Dr. Richard Strauss, whose behavior is the subject of an independent investigation that began months ago.
Ohio State says allegations raised in recent months about Strauss involve male athletes from 14 sports, as well as the physician’s work at the student health center and his off-campus medical office.
Snyder-Hill said he went to the health center because of a lump on his chest, but Strauss also conducted a genital exam and pressed himself into him, at which point the patient realized the doctor had an erection.
Snyder-Hill said officials responding to his complaint back then told him Strauss denied having an erection and said he was just doing his job.
Snyder-Hill said he told the officials he wanted to be notified if they ever got another complaint about Strauss, and he never heard more about it. He said he thought he’d put Strauss on notice that such behavior shouldn’t happen.
“I felt very, very secure that that guy isn’t going to do this again,” Snyder-Hill said. “I thought I stopped him.”
Snyder-Hill said he contacted the investigators who are looking into Strauss after seeing news reports about former athletes and students who have raised allegations about Strauss in recent months, and the investigators confirmed having some paperwork about the incident that led to his complaint. It was first reported by The Columbus Dispatch.
The athletes’ allegations moved into the courts this week with the filing of a federal lawsuit against the university.
The lawsuit by former wrestlers from the 1980s and 1990s describes Strauss as “a prolific sexual predator” who might have assaulted 1,500 or more male students. Athletes who alerted officials about Strauss felt their complaints were futile and that the doctor was above the law in the eyes of the university, according to the lawsuit filed Monday.
Among the allegations in the lawsuit is that two wrestlers met with former Athletic Director Andy Geiger during the 1994-1995 season and complained about voyeurism and lewd acts by Strauss and other men at their practice facility.
The lawsuit says the university didn’t take action or agree to move the team’s practices following that meeting. The team did move into a new building about eight years later.
Geiger has told The Associated Press he doesn’t remember meeting with the wrestlers or any complaints about Strauss. But he said he did speak with former wrestling coach Russ Hellickson about voyeurism in the showers.
Hellickson also has denied knowing about any abuse by Strauss, who killed himself after retiring from the university.
Ohio State said it is reviewing the lawsuit but didn’t comment further about it. The school has repeatedly said that allegations that officials didn’t appropriately respond to concerns about Strauss are troubling and are a key focus of the ongoing, independent investigation.
The four wrestlers, whose names aren’t listed in the lawsuit, say Strauss sexually assaulted or harassed them in the late 1980s or 1990s.
The university in April announced that independent investigators were looking into allegations that Strauss fondled and groped male athletes during physical examinations and medical treatment.
His family has said they were “shocked and saddened” to learn of the allegations.
Strauss joined Ohio State in 1978 and retired as a professor in 1998. He later moved to California, where he killed himself in 2005 at age 67.
He left Ohio State not long after the university held a hearing on complaints against him in 1997, but the school took no legal or disciplinary action, the lawsuit said.
So far, more than 150 former athletes and witnesses have been interviewed.
The university has said that it’s “focused on uncovering what may have happened during this era, what university leaders at the time may have known, and whether any response at the time was appropriate.”
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, proposes to represent all former Ohio State students or athletes who were examined by Strauss, saying the number of men is in the hundreds, if not thousands.
The wrestlers and their attorneys also want to find whether Ohio State violated federal Title IX law, which bars sex discrimination in education.
Seewer reported from Toledo. Follow the reporters on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10 and https://twitter.com/jseewerap .
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Buckeye Nation gives to Ohio State in record numbers
Ohio State University
July 17, 2018
Nearly 270,000 donors helped FY18 fundraising activity eclipse $600M for the first time
The Ohio State University is once again celebrating record-breaking generosity from Buckeye Nation, ending FY18 with $601.8 million in gifts to education, medicine, research, athletics and innovation.
Nearly 270,000 donors, about a third of whom are alumni, contributed to advancing Ohio State’s mission. Total fundraising was up 14 percent from last year, and cash receipts, at $438.6 million, rose 9 percent. The number of donors, fundraising activity and cash receipts all set records. The fiscal year ended June 30.
“The unmatched philanthropic spirit of Buckeye Nation continues to astound and inspire,” said President Michael V. Drake. “Our university is deeply fortunate to have so many alumni and friends committed to advancing our land-grant mission and changing lives across Ohio and beyond.”
Noteworthy gifts include a $17 million commitment to Fisher College of Business from the Keenan Family Foundation to create the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, which will focus on cultivating students’ entrepreneurial skill sets. Transformational gifts from Bob and Corrine Frick, now totaling $18 million, will establish the Bob and Corrine Frick Center for Heart Failure and Arrhythmia at the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital.
Gifts of all sizes helped build scholarship funds, recruit world-class faculty and fuel life-saving medical treatments. Overall, more than $151 million was dedicated to research, and nearly $92 million to student support.
“Ohio State is built and continues to grow on the generosity of our dedicated alumni, friends and partners,” said Michael C. Eicher, senior vice president for advancement and president of The Ohio State University Foundation. “This selfless spirit elevates our education and research, and ensures that we can continue to make a positive impact in our community and around the world.”
Momentum remains strong in FY19 as Ohio State continues to advance innovative research and quality medical care while building on initiatives to improve access, affordability and excellence in higher education.
White mass shooters receive sympathetic media treatment
Ohio State University
July 17, 2018
Black shooters 95 percent less likely to be called mentally ill
COLUMBUS, Ohio – White mass shooters receive much more sympathetic treatment in the media than black shooters, according to a new study that analyzed coverage of 219 attacks.
Findings showed that white shooters were 95 percent more likely to be described as “mentally ill” than black shooters.
Even when black shooters were described as mentally ill, the coverage was not as forgiving as it was for whites responsible for similar kinds of attacks, said Scott Duxbury, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University.
“There’s a big difference in how black and white mass shooters are covered in the media,” Duxbury said.
“Much of the media coverage of white shooters framed them as sympathetic characters who were suffering from extreme life circumstances. But black shooters were usually made to seem dangerous and a menace to society.”
For example, when shooters were framed in the media as mentally ill, 78 percent of white attackers were described as being victims of society – as being under a lot of stress, for example – versus only 17 percent of black shooters.
Duxbury conducted the research with Laura Frizzell and Sadé Lindsay, also sociology doctoral students at Ohio State. Their study appears online in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.
The researchers defined mass shootings as those in which four or more victims were shot in a single event, not including the perpetrator.
They used two news data sources to collect 433 media articles or transcripts about 219 randomly selected mass shootings in the United States from 2013 through 2015.
The researchers controlled for a variety of factors that could influence coverage, including the number of victims; whether any victims were women, children, family or romantic partners; whether the perpetrator committed suicide; whether the shooting took place in public; and whether the shooting was framed as gang violence.
After taking these factors into account, findings showed that whites were 95 percent more likely than blacks to be described in coverage as mentally ill. Latinos were 92 percent more likely than blacks to be described as mentally ill in media reports.
Shootings that were murder-suicides had significantly higher odds of being attributed to mental illness, as did those that occurred in public places.
But the number of victims, or whether the victims were women or children, were not related to whether the shooter was labeled as mentally ill.
The researchers identified several themes in articles that framed mass shooters as mentally ill. The most common theme – found in about 46 percent of the articles – was that the shooter was a “victim of society.” This included articles that said the shooter was “going through a lot,” was “stressed out” or “suffered abuse as a child.”
About 28 percent of articles that framed shooters as mentally ill offered testimony to the attacker’s good character, while another 21 percent said the shooting was unexpected or out of character. Another 14 percent said the shooter came from a good environment.
But these descriptions were almost always about white shooters, Duxbury said.
“Black shooters who were described as mentally ill never receive testament to their good character and the media never describe the shootings as out of character,” he said.
“And only white shooters were ever talked about as coming from a good environment.”
The researchers contrasted the coverage of two mass shooters – Josh Boren, a white man, and David Ray Conley, a black man.
“The comparison between Conley and Boren is striking. Both shooters were adult men who murdered their families. Both had a history of domestic violence and drug abuse and both had received treatment for mental illness. However, whereas the media described Josh Boren as a quiet, gentle man – a teddy bear – coverage of Conley described him as perpetually violent, controlling and dangerous,” the researchers said.
The researchers also analyzed shootings that were described as gang affiliated, because these attacks almost always involved minority shooters. Here the most consistent themes in coverage involved the criminal history of the perpetrators, their status as a public menace and the problems of the community.
These results provide a marked contrast with coverage of other mass shootings, Duxbury said.
“When the media frame a mass shooting as stemming from gang violence, they talk about the perpetrators as being perpetually violent and a menace to society,” he said.
“But when a shooting is attributed to mental illness, the media treat it as an isolated incident, or the result of the pressures on the perpetrator.”